I Wish Everyday Was Like Christmas

© chilbird


Now that the holidays are over and everyone is deflated or at least most of us, I began to ponder the idea of how I wish everyday was like Christmas. So many people just do something nice on Christmas, birthdays or Valentines Day then the rest of the year is forgotten.

My Mom and I don’t go out of our way on Christmas or any other holiday for that matter because, everyday is a celebration for us. When we see each other, which is often; we do things for each other. It doesn’t have to be something you feel, taste or smell. It can be taking out the garbage for her and repairing her computer, and she will hem up a pair of pants, or fill up my car tank full of gas, the list can go on and on.

My wish for everyone in 2014 is to make everyday a holiday, go out and do something kind for your friends, family or even a stranger especially those in need.



Misadventures Into The Canine World


My cat Smokey passed away from cancer on December 3, 2011. Since that day I have been thinking about a new furry companion. After house and dog sitting for just over a month this past October I came to the conclusion that I want my own canine partner. I haven’t had a dog since I was a child, so this will be my first since being an adult.

A dog has many benefits that a feline just doesn’t (no offense Bob Marley). For one it makes you get up in the morning (always at the same time, dogs need routine) no matter how crappy you feel to take him/her for a walk. Every afternoon it’s off to the dog park for a good run or power walk, which makes you more active too. Dog people in general are just healthier all around, mentally and physically. A dog will elevate your mood, which is important for me as I suffer from manic depression especially in the gloomy Vancouver winter months.

When I began my quest to adopt a canine I really didn’t think it would be that colossal of a challenge. Of course, my new pal had to be below 20 inches (co-op rules) from the ground to the top of his head so perhaps it does make the search a bit more difficult. I also wanted a dog that wasn’t too old, as I don’t want to go through the grief and agony again in a couple years. I began my search via “Petfinder” and ended up with all sorts of rescue societies across both sides of the border. I soon found that they want all kinds of information short of a criminal records check (in the U.S. it is easier to get a gun than adopt a pet).

I then resorted to “Craigslist”, what a mistake that was. When it comes to Craigslist they aren’t short of liars and cheaters. The first dog that I saw was George he was half Shih Tzu and Poodle. The description the woman gave in the ad made him sound like the perfect dog. I thought George was the dog for me, after all his owner was a dog walker so she must know how to take care of dogs. When I arrived at her home, George looked as bad as her house did. He looked like he had never been brushed, his fur was so matted that it was falling out in clumps. He also smelled as bad as he looked, which was no fault of his own. In the end it turned out that George had diabetes, degenerate eye disease, gum disease and possibly a tumor in his stomach. The vet said that he had the health of a dog much older than his 7 years. The vet suggested that if I wanted a dog to go to the SPCA. He said, they have the hospital so they can run tests etc. and they have to be upfront if there is anything wrong with a dog. Well… instead of listening to my vet I tried Craigslist again…you would of thought that I would learn; sometimes it takes some of us longer than others.

I see an ad that jumps up at me, a one and half year old Jack Russell. I have a soft spot for Jacks as my “Dog-son” is one. When I get there I am in shock the dog was anything but a Jack Russell he was a Heinz 57, not that I have anything against such dogs. It was the fact that she lied to me. Once again she made the dog out to be the perfect canine, well mannered, trained and socialized, the other bonus was that the dog was free to a good home. While on my walk with her and Charlie the so-called Jack Russell, all she kept mentioning was how she had an ad on Kijii and she was asking 350 dollars for him. The dog needed so much rehabilitation that you would have to spend 24/7 re-training him. He couldn’t do the walk; he was scared of everything from people to cars to bikes. He wouldn’t even sit for me or take a treat (I have never met a dog that wouldn’t). He was just insane all he wanted to do was take craps and pull on the leash and run. In the end she might have to pay someone to take the dog off her hands.

I now have learnt my lesson and will refrain from seeking a dog or cat from Craigslist. I better stick to the photo and video sections on the site. I am tired of getting my hopes up and then being disappointed. I am now back to square one and I am still trying to decide between a canine or feline (if a Maine Coon comes my way). After the New Year, I will try my local SPCA’s and have a gander at the kennels. Hopefully 2013 will bring a furry companion into my life once again.

Frugal Exfoliant

I have wanted to exfoliate my skin for some time now, but not wanting to pay the price. I would much rather spend my money on something useful, like a meal, camera equipment, musical instruments or CD’s. Apparently, women spend over 24 billion dollars a year to feel more beautiful and younger. If L’Oreal or Mac depended on me, they would go broke.

Tonight, I tried a recipe for exfoliant that I found on the Internet. All you need to do is mix cornmeal and warm water together and scrub away. Not only did it feel exhilarating and wonderful, it also came from my pantry, which makes it dirt-cheap. Give it a try next time you feel the need to get rid of some dead skin cells.

Ban Soda From All Schools?

Where do I stand on soda in schools? Here in Canada we call it pop (I think that is because of the sound it makes when you take the top off or it is short for popular). I am totally for banning the poison from schools. My Mother uses Coca-Cola to clean her toilet bowl. If it will clean porcelain imagine what it is doing to your stomach. There is also the fact that most teenagers drink regular cola with sugar, not that I think sugar-free is any better, aspartame has all it's documented side effects too. Again, I believe that it has to start at home; if the parents are bringing pop home of course the children will be drinking it at school.

I believe that pop can be an addiction like drugs, alcohol or cigarettes. In the apartment building that I live in there is a pop addiction among the adults. People cart it in 2 liters at a time and pore it over their cornflakes (this is for real). When they get thirsty they think that pop is going to quench their thirst, but how wrong they are. It does the same thing as coffee it dehydrates you.

Here in Vancouver, BC Canada we have the best water, which comes directly from our tap, you don't even need to filter it. I know that in many cities in the U.S. the quality is poor, but next time your kids want a “soda” buy a bottle or gallon of water, in the end your body and theirs will appreciate it.

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How Tech Savvy Are You?

This is the Plinky prompt for today. I don’t answer most of them, because most don’t pertain to my life, or me but this one definitely does. Let me count the ways that I wish I was more tech savvy. First of all let me say that I am very technically astute. I can pretty much repair any software problem on a PC or Mac, even if it means reformatting.  I can also install a hard drive, optical drive, sound-card or RAM. These days most everyone I know has a laptop instead of a tower, so I haven’t been called upon to upgrade anything, but if I had to I could. I am my Mother’s personal IT department.  In my apartment block there are friends computers that I tend to and maintain on a regular basis.

I can also pretty well figure out any menu on any digital camera, recorder, tablet or cellphone.  When Olympus claimed to have a difficult menu to navigate, for me it was a piece of cake. This is how my brain works.  Then on the other hand if I see a piece of IKEA furniture with a whole bunch of screws and nails, I draw a blank.  If I only knew someone who was good at putting a bed-frame together, we could barter.  I live in a building full of men, and not one of them even knows how to use a hammer or screwdriver. The only person I know that is extremely good at putting anything together is my Mother; she is always up for the challenge. Perhaps, if I take her to lunch at the Windjammer she will help me out.

Now for the areas that I wish I could improve on. I would love to be able to write HTML and design my own website or learn to code and build an iPhone app or computer game.  Perhaps, this should be one of my goals for the rest of the year.

I may be tech savvy, but don’t forget everyone is good at something; you just have to find out what it is. As Curly said in “City Slickers”, “when you find that one thing, then nothing else will matter”.



Where Am I?

The Last Time I Was Really Lost

I won’t forget this event for a very long time.  My brother Tony was flying into town from Edmonton via Abbotsford (45 miles from Vancouver).  My Mother and I drove to the airport without any hitches.  The fun (if that’s what you want to call it) began when we picked up my brother and we were driving back to Surrey (Mom’s place).   It was wintertime and it was dark, somewhere we zigged when we should have zagged.  Not one of us knew where we were; we kept driving around in circles for hours and hours.   I didn’t have a GPS then to help us along. I remember driving on some dark back road and running into a security car and driver and I asked for directions, of course his directions were all wrong.  Somehow after hours, which seemed like days we found our way home on some secondary road.  The moral of this story is if you are going to drive in a strange new place do it in daylight and most of all buy and take a GPS.

Favorite Book From Childhood

This prompt was an easy one; I didn’t need to think about it. My favorite childhood book has to be Dr. Suess’s “Green Eggs and Ham”. I loved all the Dr. Suess’s books that my Mom ordered or bought for my brother and I. I took to them like a fish takes to water.

The moral of the story still lingers in my mind as far as food goes, never say you don’t like something until you have tried it. I know people who have never tried a cuisine or delicacy because of the color or how it looks. Same goes for anything in life, don’t judge what you see by simply the cover.

Once Upon A Time There Were Two Crows…..

Lately I have been doing research on the mating habits and behaviour of crows.  It turns out that they mate for life and if they don’t create their nest by the end of May, well there just won’t be any baby crows that year.

Around my apartment block there are two evergreen trees, one in the front and one in the back.  For several years now 2 crows have nested in the front tree.  A few years ago there was a crazy guy who worked graveyards who threatened to cut down the tree, he couldn’t stand the sound of the baby crows.

This year was a bad year for our crows. We kept watching them like we always do, they fly around dragging  twigs and leaves to build their nests. This week one of the tenants on the 3rd floor woke up to see that a giant racoon was sitting in the nest munching on the eggs.  I don’t know if they will try and build another nest by the end of May or not.

Favorite Fried Food

What’s Your Favorite Fried Food Indulgence?

Without a doubt my favorite fried food, has to be “Fish n Chips”. I can’t say that I have tried too many different restaurants in the Lower Mainland of Vancouver. My usual standby used to be “The Windjammer” on Main Street, it has now moved to my part of town up on “The Drive”. I have yet to go to The Windjammer, but I am hoping that it is as good as it used to be at the old place.

A few weeks ago my Mom and I stumbled into C-Lovers in Coquitlam and I have to tell you that is the best fried fish n chips I have ever had,so far. I tried hard to get the batter recipe from the owner but, he wouldn’t budge. The crust was so delicate and crispy and not greasy at all. I plan on going back there on Mother’s Day.

Let me know what your favorite fried food or fish n chip place is?

My 5 Favorite Rock Albums

I knew this was going to be a difficult choice, so instead I am going to name my top 5 and how they influenced my life at the time.

I grew up in an era where we actually had real, vinyl record albums. I remember the shear joy of arriving home, taking off the wrapper and doing the infamous sniff test. It was the scent of vinyl all new, shiny and black. You would always get excited to find out if there was going to be a booklet included with photos and lyrics. I still remember Led Zeppelin’s “In Through The Out Door”, the inside sleeve featured black and white line artwork which, if washed with water would become a permanent, full water-colour. I still remember when someone accidentally spilt water on mine, and we were all in awe and amazed by what we had discovered. We imagined that we were the only ones in the world that knew this secret. Today if you can still find a CD, the liner notes are so small that I can’t even make them out in my reading glasses. Gone are those days, but I still long for the sound of a good vinyl record, with scratches and all.

In the 70’s there just weren’t many female musicians playing rock n roll. Most of the role models were men, swinging their hips and caressing their guitars as if they were women. I thought how could I relate to that.

I began playing acoustic guitar at age 13, but when I discovered Suzi Quarto, The Runaways, Heart, Patti Smith and Girlschool all that changed. When I saw photos of Joan Jett with her electric gold top Les Paul, I knew I had to have one. I did get my Les Paul at the San Francisco Pawn Brokers and soon a gigantic Custom amplifier followed, which the neighbourhood and police soon learnt to hate. All of sudden I felt like I belonged and that I was in a secret club only for girls. We could be raunchy and play power chords just like our male counterparts.

Here is my list of my top 5

1. 1974 – Suzi Quatro – Suzi Quatro
2. 1976 – The Runaways – The Runaways
3. 1976 – Heart – Dreamboat Annie
4. 1978 – Patti Smith – Easter
5. 1982 – Girlschool – Hit and Run